Basketball league seeks city support

By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times

The Eupora Board of Aldermen is considering a request to support a
proposed church basketball league for men ages 18 and up.

Curtis Ford and Lamar Dumas, at the March 4 board meeting, said the
men’s organizations of Liberty and First United Methodist churches
are taking the primary role in sponsoring the league, which would
play one or two games a week at Eupora High School’s gym in April and
May if approval/support is received from the county School Board and
the city.

Players would be organized into teams and, before every game, Ford
said men from the churches would talk to them about their spiritual
life, encourage dropouts to go back to school and encourage those not
working to get a vocation.

Ford and Dumas asked the city to become involved through financial
support to pay referees and provide insurance on players. After a
lengthy discussion, aldermen voted to table the matter until a
special called meeting set for 9 a.m. today in order for board
attorney Hugh Gibson to research municipal liability insurance
questions.

HOME Grant
Additionally on March 4, Spencer Broock and George Crawford of the
Golden Triangle Planning and Development District met with the board
about the 2012 HOME Grant awarded the city to reconstruct three
dilapidated houses.

In connection with the grant, aldermen voted to take professional
service proposals for an asbestos inspector, building inspector and
surveyor under advisement until today’s special meeting. They also
authorized the PDD to readvertise for legal services because no
attorney submitted a proposal for that work. A second public hearing
for the HOME Grant was March 5 at City Hall.

Consultant Dianne Dyar gave her second monthly business development
update to the board. Dyar said she has been compiling “like” reports
and continuing interviews with residents, and will be compiling
information from previous First Impressions, charrette and TVA reports.

Other Business
Also last week, aldermen voted to:
• authorize the mayor to sign an eligibility waiver with Natchez
Trace Electric Power Association to cut down five trees along Clark
Avenue in front of George Mitchell’s residence and contract with
Ken’s Tree Service of Starkville to remove them for $1,750 (the
lowest of three quotes).
• pay $825 to Calvert-Spradling Engineers upon receipt of an invoice
for a cost overrun on the new city parking lot/Marie Lane overlay
project. The matter had been tabled from last month. Mayor Tommy Lott
said a USDA grant paid all project costs except this, which was for
the last-minute overlaying of the breezeway between the BLY Fine Arts
Center green space and Marie Lane. This was not an overrun on
engineers’ fees, but a shortfall after the breezeway was completed.
• select sewer lagoon stabilization as a Community Development Block
Grant project application if the city becomes eligible for the 100
percent grant after completion of a citywide CDBG survey.
• proceed with direct deposit of city employees’ paychecks through
CB&S Bank at a cost of $29.95 a month.
• authorize the transfer of titles of two patrol cars (2001 and 2002
Crown Victorias) to Joe Watt Auto Sales of Vinita, Okla.; authorize
the lease-purchase over three years of a refurbished police-package
2007 Dodge Charger from the dealership; and declare the old cars
surplus and take them off inventory at the time of transfer. The
total price of the new car after the trade-in of the old ones will be
$9,900
• buy 116 extra radio-read water meters at $165 each as a
continuation of the same bid price from Empire Pipe Supply that the
board accepted Dec. 12 for 400 meters. The cost will be paid for out
of Water/Sewer reserve. Lott said the Water Department will now have
nearly enough new meters to replace those in Bellefontaine and Walthall.
• table until today’s special meeting approval of an agricultural
lease agreement with Clint and Don Mann on their bid accepted last
month to work land at Industrial Park 3 and the airport.

Dan Burchfield (at large) as he also did in February, voted against
approving the monthly claims docket.